Keeping children safe online
Young people should be able to be creative, personal and expressive, without threats from bullies or people looking to befriend, manipulate and abuse them. We fight for this right by spreading the word of online safety and working with children at risk of being groomed online.
online exploitation facts
4 in 5
parents are worried about children being groomed online for criminal exploitation.
of parents think children are most at risk of being targeted through social media.
Risks of the online world
Most young people have online lives, just as real as their offline lives. They chat on WhatsApp, share pics on Shapchat, post on Instagram. A post can go viral and reach millions of people worldwide overnight. The appeal of the online world is also what makes it dangerous. Any post, no matter what it is, is open to bullying, abuse and threats.
What is online exploitation?
Online exploitation is when someone online uses their power to make a child do sexual or criminal things, either online or offline.
What is online grooming?
Online grooming is when someone tricks and makes friends with a child online, often to exploit them, sexually or criminally.
keeping children safe online
Keeping children safe online
We want to increase everyone's understanding of online dangers, so exploitation doesn't happen. We also work directly with young people who have been groomed online, so they can work through their trauma, start trusting people again, and live their best life.
I have the confidence to make changes
If you've been lied to by someone you cared about, it's tough. It takes a lot of guts to open up and trust again. For a young person who has been tricked and then emotionally and physically abused, it's even harder. We're there when they're ready to open up. We listen, try to understand and share techniques to improve their self-esteem and confidence.
No more hiding things from parents, bailing on friends, skipping school, worrying about what their abuser will do. They take charge of their future.
promoting online safety
Understanding online safety
If young people know what to look out for, they can avoid things that don't seem right. So, we spread awareness of online safety. We teach the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. We give young people the tools to spot warning signs and get out of potentially harmful situations.
Our Prevention Team visit communities up and down the country. We train parents, police, teachers and other professionals on how to spot the signs of exploitation and how to report it.
During the busiest Christmas shopping weekend last year, we partnered with Currys PC World. We talked to parents buying computer games and smartphones and handed out information on internet safety.
online safety facts and figures
professionals were reached through our Prevention Programme
felt better able to spot child exploitation
How do I know if my child is staying safe online?
Young people have a lot going on in their lives. Changes of behaviour could be any number of things. However, there are certain changes that could be signs of online grooming and exploitation:
- Talking about older or new friends they've met online
- Talking about gifts or money they have received online
- Becoming withdrawn and secretive
- Having a new phone or more than one phone
- Receiving a large number of calls or messages
- Worried about being away from their phone
Look out for things that don't seem right - if they don't feel right, they're probably not.
How do I keep my child safe online?
If you're worried, the best thing you can do is learn about online safety and be open to talk about it. Show the young person they can trust you and don’t judge. Take an interest in their online friends as much as you would their offline friends.
Reporting online abuse and exploitation
If you are concerned about something you've seen online, tell Child Exploitation Online Protection (CEOP) or call the police on 101.